The US Open, the fourth and final major championships of the tennis season, gets under way in New York on Sunday and one thinks that there are grounds for betting around the hot favourites for the men’s singles and the women’s singles.
Novak Djokovic has won the US Open men’s singles title once (2011) and appeared in each of the last four title deciders, which is why bookmakers have chalked up him as the favourite at odds of +140 with Bwin. The absence of Rafael Nadal is a contributing factor to Djokovic’s odds, with the defending champion withdrawing due to his ongoing right wrist injury.
The problem with backing Djokovic at short odds is that the Serbian has exited both his US Open men’s singles lead-up events at an early stage, losing 2-6 2-6 to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Toronto and going down 6-7 5-7 to Tommy Robredo in Cincinnati. Also, Djokovic’s two wins since taking out the Wimbledon men’s singles final have been unimpressive ones – 6-2 6-7 7-6 over Gael Monfils in Toronto and 6-3 4-6 6-4 over Gilles Simon in Cincinnati. Djokovic is opposable.
Roger Federer is the US Open men’s singles second favourite and the obvious alternative to Djokovic. Federer won the US Open men’s singles title from 2004 to 2008 inclusive and he has reached the final of each of his last four tournaments, winning in Cincinnati and Halle. Federer is trading at odds of +350 with William Hill and he will have his fans but he has not won a Grand Slam men’s singles final since Wimbledon in 2012 and before that one has to go back to the Australian Open of 2010. Furthermore, the US Open men’s singles third favourite, Andy Murray, is seeded eighth and, therefore, he may end up being a dangerous floater outside the top four.
It makes sense to find someone other than Djokovic, Federer and Murray on whom to punt in the US Open men’s singles. One thinks that there are three players who are worth playing to small stakes – Tsonga (odds of +2500 with Winner), David Ferrer (odds of +8000 with Unibet and William Hill) and Marin Cilic (odds of +15000 with Unibet and William Hill). Dutching Tsonga, Ferrer and Cilic means that one derives odds of +1641 about one of them winning.
Tsonga did what Tsonga does when he lost 1-6 4-6 to Mikhail Youzhny in Cincinnati the week after he took out the men’s singles event in Toronto by beating Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Jeremy Chardy, Djokovic, Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Federer in that order. Tsonga likes hard courts, it took Djokovic to bundle him out of the Wimbledon men’s singles and he boasts recent victories over four of the top five in the betting.
Ferrer is to consistency what Tsonga is to inconsistency. If the big guns of men’s singles tennis fall over, one would like to have Ferrer on one’s side because he is dependable and a massive price for someone seeded in the top four.
Cilic went close to beating Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s singles – he lost 1-6 6-3 7-6 2-6 2-6 in the quarter-finals and Federer in Toronto – he went down 6-7 7-6 4-6 in the third round – and most of his title wins have come on hard courts, including a triumph on American soil in April.
With regards to the US Open women’s singles, Serena Williams is the championship favourite at odds of +175 with several bookmakers, including Sky Bet and Totesport. One is not interested in backing Williams at that kind of price given that she has not made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam women’s singles event this year.
Is one mad for considering Caroline Wozniacki, who is famous for not being a major women’s singles champion despite being the world number one for 67 weeks, at odds of +2500 with Paddy Power, to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows?
One would like to know what went on between Rory McIlroy and Wozniacki because, since their high-profile split, both of them have improved their sports results enormously. McIlroy has won two major golf titles and Wozniacki has been one of the WTA Tour’s star performers. Only Serena Williams has defeated Wozniacki since the Wimbledon’s women singles tournament ended and both those matches went three sets.
To Win to US Open
David Ferrer +8000
Marin Cilic +15000
Caroline Wozniacki +2500
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